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John Jantsch

Founder of Duct Tape Marketing

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How to Get the Attention of Influential Bloggers

August 03, 2017

You have to give value to get value.

The most important influencers for you to reach and (eventually) work with are frequent bloggers. Consider this: According to a recent survey, 81 percent of consumers say they trust advice from their favorite bloggers, while only 33 percent trust ads. The bottom line is that building relationships with bloggers within your niche can be far more valuable than spending money on traditional advertising.

So, how do you get the attention of a blogger you want to work with? It's a multi-step process, and it takes some work.

Target the right influencers

Right off the bat, you want to make sure you have a good idea who, specifically, you're targeting. The sheer number of influential bloggers is vast, but many of them, and probably most of them, aren't right for your brand and its goals.

When it comes to targeting influencers, you want to make sure that you look beyond their follower count to see if they actually reach the people you want to sell to. If you don't get the right fit in terms of demographics and interests, you'll get dismissed as just another paid advertisement.

Look for interviews and anything else you can dig up to really get to know who they are and what they care about. Make a Twitter list so you can easily keep track of their tweets, retweets, and interactions. Pay attention to what kinds of interactions get their attention. At this stage, you need to make a list of bloggers who fit your brand and those who don't.

Start out small

If the blogger you're targeting really is influential, it's going to be hard for you to get them to open your email if you send it in cold. You need them to recognize your name when you pop up in their inbox. For that you need to start small and start early.

Begin by strategically liking and retweeting them--once or twice a day is usually enough; you don't want to come on too strong. Keep in mind that they get a notification every time you do something, so you don't want to appear to be phony, overeager, or annoying by going through everything they've ever posted. The goal here is pretty simple: Get your name to pop up on their phone once or twice a day so they recognize it.

After you've developed the lead for a little while, you can use the Twitter research you did earlier to try to start a conversation with them. Just like at a cocktail party, the best way to keep a conversation going is to ask them a question. After several interactions, you can send them a short version of your pitch, and ask them for their email if they want to know more.

Offer value

Once you get some contacts and are crafting your pitch, you need to keep in mind that blogging is a business, too. You need to offer value if you want to get something of value. If they're good at what they do and they're the perfect fit, it will probably justify the cost. Bloggers who do a lot of influencer marketing probably have a going rate for their services, but you also need to think about what you have to offer beyond cash: backlinks, guest blogging opportunities, networking, and even just free stuff. Be sure that all bloggers follow Federal Trade Commission guidelines about paid promotion.

The bottom line

Influential bloggers are a great target for your content marketing and social outreach efforts, because your target audience trusts them. Do your research to make sure it's really the right fit, then do more research to figure out how to land an interaction. Once you're ready to make your pitch, you'll need to identify what you can do for them, too. If you can get the right bloggers on your side, it's worth the time and effort.

This story originally appeared on Inc.

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